Rainbows liven historic town streets to support diverse population

Beechworth and surrounds came together on Sunday, with hundreds lining the streets to support inclusion and diversity. 

The town’s annual diversity walk was moved forward from December to support members of the LGBTIQ community during the postal survey. 

Indigo Shire’s youth officer Sal Kimber said the walk was especially important for young LGBTIQ members and their allies. 

“It’s a very difficult period and they don’t get to vote, also if they don’t want to live in the town they are and feel uncomfortable there’s not a lot they can do,” she said. 

“Young people are more vulnerable so we want to support them.”

Emily Payn, 14, has lived in Beechworth for five years and said it was important for her to show her support to the LGBTIQ community.

“It’d be a very boring town without diversity,” she said.

“I have close friends who are gay or trans and I want to support them so they know they have friends they can count on.”

Indigo mayor Jenny O'Connor said it showed the community no matter what happens in politics, they were loved and supported. 

“Whatever the result of the postal vote – and I voted yes – you are all part of this community.

“Today we all say yes, we say yes to a loving inclusive community.”

Organiser Tania Sutton said she was ecstatic hundreds of people had attended, especially in light of the postal survey. 

“No matter where people are from, what they believe or who they love, we’re all equal, we celebrate differences,” she said.